Big Hill Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Texas

Big Hill is a federally-controlled underground petroleum storage site, one of four in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve program of the US Government. Along with another site in Texas (the Bryan Mound site near Freeport), and two in Louisiana, these sites can hold over 700 million barrels of crude, equivalent to two months of domestic consumption. Intended as an emergency supply for the nation, releases from the reserve have been used to manipulate the market. Big Hill was made between 1987 and 1991, and is connected by a 25 mile long, 36 inch wide pipeline to a terminal in Nederland. Like the other sites, Big Hill is a naturally formed underground salt dome with excavated cavities used to hold the oil. Each of the 14 cavities at Big Hill is around 2,000 feet in height, 200 feet wide, and can hold 12 million barrels.